Mississippi is trying to keep emergency management in order during a massive search to find a nine-year-old girl.

West-central Mississippi hit with severe weather

It appears that the southern half of the United States is having more severe weather than usual, but that isn't stopping responders from keeping continuity of operations in order.

Late Sunday night, there were reports that a 55 mile-per-hour tornado hit Covington County, Mississippi around 2 a.m., but the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) released a statement within hours of the event, opening community shelters and updates on local damage and missing persons.

According to the statement, severe weather was expected to continue throughout Monday, so anyone who is in need of "any resources" was told to contact MEMA representatives in Yazoo, Neshoba and Covington counties. Rescuers are also working on finding a nine-year-old girl who was submerged by flash flooding Monday morning.

The severe weather system caused significant damage to apartment buildings in Alabama and it is still on its way east toward Georgia and the Florida panhandle, according to reports from CNN. To put into perspective how severe conditions got in Mississippi, Yazoo area homeowners saw between 4 to 5 inches of rain within a short time frame. while other communities cited 7 to 8 inches worth of precipitation.

Although there is no confirmed death toll at this time, Reuters noted that seven people in Covington, where the tornado hit, sustained minor injuries. However, many nearby businesses and homes were destroyed.

Because the storm is far from over, cities and towns should continue to follow continuity of operations protocol. If there isn't one in place, check local news reports on television or the internet. In the future, business continuity consultants can provide insight on how to mitigate the effects of natural disasters.